The Grownup - Gillian Flynn

A part-time psychic, part-time sex worker and full-time con-artist finally meets her match when taking on a job too good to be true. A scared woman, Susan, comes to seek help about her new home and stepson, Miles, who has been acting strangely and is now a threat to her safety, can our con-artist help her? Or has the time for pretending come to an end?

Whilst I was lagging in my scheduled spooky reading of IT by Stephen King I picked this up as a quick read and at 67 pages I was not disappointed. Short stories have never been a big part of my reading journey because I rarely find they draw me in and get me committed to the story as much as the longer reads do but that opinion has definitely changed by reading this. Flynn creates a strong atmosphere within the first few pages and when I was nearing the end I was so engrossed I could not put the book down, I had to know what was happening! I started to read Gone Girl a long while ago but the book got lost in a house move and I was never organised enough to replace it. Sharp Objects went on offer on Amazon for £2.00 so I swiped that up alongside this for £3.00 as it was the one I'd heard the least about.

The vulgar language that our main character used put me off a little when she was describing her situation, and the parental figure she had in her mother was very concerning that I became a bit uncomfortable by it. All of this, although not my cup of tea, set the tone for our character, she is hard, strong and resilient, waiting for the right opportunity for her life to take the U-turn she had been hoping for. I felt like I knew the character within the first 10 pages and I can only complement Flynn on how well this was achieved.

Susan's introduction was handled perfectly, she was the hesitant upper-class woman at her wits-end trying to find a solution to her nightmare. Susan's description of Miles and the perception of him when we are in the house with him was genuinely unsettling for me. Flynn was able to make a teenage boy concerning enough that I was rooting for him to be 'taken care of' - that is powerful writing. The twist ending with Miles and Susan has still left me wondering what the truth is, the writing was so cleverly connected throughout the book that anything is possible and we are left questioning our judgement.

I would definitely recommend everyone read this. It is unsettling and the language used isn't all the way up my street but getting around this is fine for 67 pages, especially when the twist was so unexpected that I forgot all about it.

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